tv Starting Point CNN October 16, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
morning. taking responsibility. secretary of state hillary clinton says the buck stops with her in the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. >> i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department. 60,000-plus people all over the world. >> also this morning, love your flaws. supermodel tyra banks is going to join us, telling women everywhere that they are flawsome. she's having a flawsome ball this week. also a talk with carole simpson, the first african-american presidential debate moderator. other guests, congressman steve israel from new york. debate is in his district. jen psaki with the obama campaign is going to join us and pop star mica. >> october 16th, a tuesday, "starting point" begins right now. >> morning, welcome, everybody. "starting point" this morning is the rematch.
in just about 14 hours president obama, mitt romney, will square off in the second presidential debate. it's going to take place here. the debate hall on the campus of long island's hofstra university. going to be a town hall-style event, moderated by our very own candy crowley. candidates taking direct questions from a group of uncommitted voters. cnn's dan lothian is live for us at hofstra this morning. dan, good morning. >> good morning. and you talked about those uncommitted voters. about 80 of them will be in the audience, and from that group they'll be the ones asking the questions based on the coin toss governor mitt romney will get the first question. now, as you know, the president will be working very hard to try and recover from that first debate performance. he spent the last three days in williamsburg, virginia, preparing, prepping for this debate, surrounded by mostly the same team that he had going in to the first debate, with the exception of ben rose, one of his national security advisers. according to some of president obama's top campaign aides the president will be much more
aggressive. he will challenge mitt romney when he puts out his plans at this debate. as for mitt romney, he spent the weekend in massachusetts. he went to church, and then spent some time prepping at a nearby hotel. his campaign advisers going after the president, saying that he might change his style and his tactic, but he can't change his record. soledad? >> dan lothian updating us on what we can expect tonight at hofstra university. i will be there reporting for us. so looking forward to that. thank you. john berman's got a look at some of the other stories making news today. >> good morning, soledad. concerns over anti-taliban activist malala yousafzai's safety and security this morning. the hospital's medical director says specialists think there's a chance, a decent chance of recovery for malala. the 14-year-old is in a chemically induced coma as doctors evaluate the extent of damage she sustained when the pakistani taliban shot her in the head. pakistan's interior minister offered a $1 million bounty on
the taliban spokesman who took credit for the attack. birmingham police saying some well wishers were questioned overnight. not arrested as first reported. more than 1,000 mourners are expected today at the funeral service for former president senator arlen specter. vice president joe biden will be among them. he called the former colleague a friend who never walked away from his principles. he died sunday after a long battle from cancer. former presidential nominee george mcgovern has been admitted to a hospice in sioux falls, south dakota. the hospice spokeswoman says the family is asking for complete privacy. mcgovern, you will remember, ran unsuccessfully for president in 1972 against richard nixon. he served three terms in the senate, representing south dakota. he also fought against poverty and poor nutrition around the world. he is 90 years old. under the bright lights of monday night football the san diego chargers, man, they had a big time meltdown. peyton manning and the denver broncos came back from a 24-0
halftime deficit. they scored 35 unanswered points in the second half. peyton manning had three touchdowns, more than 300 yards passing. and now the two teams are tied for first in the nfc west. peyton manning, that guy can still play. and in baseball playoffs, game two of the series, it was all giants, they tied it up. they beat the cardinals 7-1 to even the best of seven series at one game apiece. game three tomorrow in st. louis. >> my yankees didn't play last night? >> they play tonight. >> oh, they play tonight. they got to win. my kids are a hot mess. they're like crying all the time. thank you, john. appreciate it. with foreign policy a focus of tonight's debate, libya is very much expected to be a major topic. lots of finger pointing in the month since the attacks. with secretary of state hillary clinton telling cnn in an interview she accepts the blame. >> i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department. 60,000-plus people all over the world. 275 posts. the president and the vice
president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. >> republican congressman jason chapous of utah is part of our team this morning. he's also a member in his free time of that oversight committee also part of the team leading the investigation into the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. nice to have you with us. >> thanks for having me. >> you heard secretary clinton saying listen it's my decision. i'm responsible. yesterday rudy giuliani was on our program and it was an intense debate we had going and here's what he said about it being a cover. listen. >> susan rice goes out there, four days after, says this was a spontaneous demonstration, it clearly wasn't. there was information both in the state department and the white house that it wasn't. there was no protest in -- >> but my question to you, and what i'm -- >> this sounds like a cover-up. i mean if this were a democratic president, i think all you people would be going crazy.
>> do you have before said you thought it was coordination between the state department and the administration to come up with a story that sort of was around a a protest that we now know did not exist. he's saying cover-up. do you believe it was a cover-up? >> i think there are a couple parts of sthoirsry. the run-up that led to 9/11, what happened that night and then moving forward and the bungled story. it's five weeks later and we still don't have crystal clear answers. i'm glad to see the secretary of state, at least somebody is taking some personal responsibility. but leading up to it, how did we get to the point where we diminish security in a very volatile type of situation? i think somewhere between patently false, and totally mrs. leading, the story that the administration spun coming out of this. they never said that terrorism was one of the, the potential parts of this. they were very emphatic this was a video, this was a mob, this was, you know, whatever word they used. but clearly it was terrorism. >> you know -- one of the things
we lacked yesterday in our interview with mr. giuliani was literally specifically what people have said. and it was susan rice who, on the 16th, on meet the press, who was much farther out than everybody else. she said assessment, what happened in benghazi was in fact spontaneous reaction to what had transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat demonstration, facility in cairo prompted of course by the video. she was the one who was furthest out. if you look at what jay carney said and you look at what the president said, they did not go as far. they were weak on saying terror but they also didn't quite say video. they sort of referenced them. >> a day or two afterwards, we'll have to pull up the film but jay carney went further than that. you had 230 incidents there in benghazi. you had the assassination attempt of the british ambassador. the bombing of the red cross. the brits get out of there. it's libya. we're coming up on 9/11 -- >> is that incompetence or is that a cover-up? because i think everyone would say huge intelligence screwup. no question. is it just incompetence or is
that intentional cover-up to me sort of implies there's some kind of criminal act under it all. >> well, look, when the vice president came out in the debate and said we had no idea they asked for more security. ignorance is not really a great defense. and even when secretary clinton said, look, security professionals made these decisions. no they didn't. the security professional that testified at the committee said we were under pressure to come up to normalize, quote normalize, on a political timetable. that is very concerning when the security professional on the ground is saying we need more resources, just a few more resources. those are denied. in fact they were diminished. >> so incompetence or cover-up? right? cover-up is a, is a -- >> that's the first part of it. the lead up to it. then what went down that night and what was the story that was being spun afterwards because i went to libya two saturdays ago. i was there for a good part of the day, never once did a single person ever mention a video. now, you talk to people on the ground, you talk to people that are involved in this incident,
where is the evidence that this video was core and central to the administration's story moving forward? so, look, i think it's still an unanswered question. i really do. >> we talk about the debate for a moment, we're going to have you all morning so we can, we can chat about this. who do you think a town hall format favors? >> oh, i don't know. look if you're going to be the president of the united states, you better do good sitting at a table and standing. i don't buy this whole idea that, you know, one -- you know. we talk about it like it's a sports game. you're going to be the president much the united states, you've got to step up and you've got to be able to -- >> well, i mean i would guess for both, right? i mean, there's, you have regular folks standing up and you have to sort of take questions in a non -- completely moderated format. >> president obama did exceptionally well in this format before. really haven't seen mitt romney in this type of format. we had 19, 20-something debates during the primaries. >> 21. >> yeah. but most of them were not this town hall format. >> right. >> so, president's expectation
was so you know, after his last performance so low. he's undoubtedly going to exceed that. i'm sure he'll do pretty well. >> there's pressure on mitt romney because he did so well last time? >> i think expectation is a sort of interesting kind of calculation. we're going to keep you around with us. we appreciate you staying with us all morning. we really love having you. we're also going to get some more comments about the debate from democratic congressman steve israel. he'll be joining us. cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott is going to join us as well to talk a little bit more about her interview because it was her interview where secretary clinton said that you know the buck stopped with her that she took the blame. also special coverage of the debate tonight will begin right here on cnn. also, cnn.com at 7:00 p.m. eastern. i'll be part of that coverage live. and ahead, she was the first ever female and african-american to moderate a presidential debate. we're going to chat with carole simpson about the perils and the joy of the town hall-style for candidates. also, time to get fiscal, an ode to paul ryan.
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report their earnings this week. we'll hear from goldman sachs, coke, johnson & johnson and a lot of others. amazon plans to hire 50,000 seasonal workers at its fulfillment centers across the country this holiday season. it expects thousands to stay on full-time after the holidays are over. facebook's political action committee has given more money to republicans than democrats. this is according to a cnn money review of federal election record. but facebook employees, though, well they have favored democrats. according to the senate for responsible politics facebook employees gave nearly double the amount in personal donations to democrats than republicans. facebook's chief operating officer cheryl sandberg has given more than $30,000 to the democratic national committee and $5,000 to president obama. and of course, she had worked in the treasury department. she works in the clinton administration i think so she's been a longtime democrat. >> not a shock on the donations there. christine, thank you. tonight's second presidential debate is a town hall format. it's a campaign tradition that began back in 1992 when carole
simpson served as the first-ever both female, and minority moderator. so both black and female, with that town hall debate came the first memorable town hall moment, if you will, when president george h.w. bush was caught looking kind of openly at his watch while a woman in the audience was forming her country. bernie shaw -- >> since then the format, the town hall format has provided a wealth of memorable moments like al gore's intimidation tactic. that kind of went wrong back in 2000. take a look. >> it's not only what's your philosophy and what's your position on issues, but can you get things done? and i believe i can. >> he's like, what are you doing? personal space, please. senator john mccain roaming around the room back in 2008, which became fodder for late night comedians everywhere. take a look at that.
>> and your copayments and deductibles have gone up 30% just in the last year alone. >> that concludes tonight's debate from here in nashville. we want to thank our host here at belmont university in asheville and the commission on presidential debates. and you're in my way of my script there, if you will -- >> oh, that was funny. yeah. those moments. veteran journalist and moderator of that first town hall debate carole simpson joins us this morning. nice to see you, carole, great to have you with us. >> good morning, soledad. >> that was so funny. >> good to be here. >> different format. we were talking about this just a moment ago. who do you think gets the advantage in a town hall debate? >> i think it's a people person. and i think that -- that's president obama. he was a community organizer. he's used to dealing with people. he's comfortable with that. he's a touchy feely person.
he's not afraid to touch people, and it looks genuine. and i watched romney campaign in iowa, and he tries to do it, but that's been a criticism of his that he doesn't relate to ordinary people. so i think tonight, obama has the advantage in that i think he'll be warmer, and, you know, closer to the people. >> carole, it's john berman here. how are you doing? >> hi, john. >> a lot of people -- warmer president obama they want to see it is a more aggressive president obama they want to see. so how do you handle that in a town meeting-style debate? how do you turn from a voter question, how do you turn that into an attack on mitt romney if you're president obama? >> well, it's tough. because, when i did my debate, i asked the audience, you know, what do you want to hear from these people? i don't want to know your questions. but what is it that you want to hear? and they said they were tired of the mudslinging. they didn't like the negativity.
and if you go in to the debate with a plan to attack as obama probably needs to do, to attack mr. romney, the public didn't going to like that. and i don't think they're going to risk turning off that audience. >> let me ask you a question about what candy crowley said last night on anderson. she was talking specifically about the ability of the person who's moderating the debate to, to push or follow up. listen. >> well, after the question is answered, there is this time that there will be a, quote facilitated discussion. you know, follow-up questions where you go, i didn't totally understand that. do you mean this or that? or you know, whatever it happens to be. so you know, what you want to do is flesh things out as much as you can, without staying on the same question for 40 minutes, because, you know, nobody wants that. not the presidential candidates, and certainly not the town hall folks, nor do i think the viewers. >> moderator's job, of course,
is to keep things from veering completely off the rail. does that hard, i mean having done this in a town hall format, is that, is that extra difficult in this kind of format? >> well, she has different marching orders than i had. i was told only to follow up if the question was not understandable. if it needed clarification. my own audience was able to follow up, and i don't think her audience can follow up. i think she gets the follow up chances. so there's -- there are different guidelines for her as was given me. and so, i think it's going to be tough, though, for her to interject herself. i mean, this is the people's -- this is the people's debate. and the role of the moderator, as i saw myself, was to operate in the public interest. to make sure that their questions were being asked, not what i wanted asked. >> so then let me jump in and
ask you this question before we let you go. you've been critical. you say that, you know, women are having the opportunity to, in the presidential format, only do the, the, the debate where they really don't get to ask any of the questions. why is that do you think? >> i don't want to think it's sexism. but it sure does seem like it. that women are only given the vice presidential debate, and given the town hall meeting, where basically we hold the microphone for other people to ask questions. yet yip layer and bob schieffer got to go one on one with the candidates and ask their own questions. so it looks like women have been pigeon holed into the women slot, which is not the big slot, which i think is one-on-one with the candidates. >> well maybe that will change down the road. carole simpson, nice to have you as always, we certainly appreciate it. >> thank you. >> you bet. still ahead this morning on "starting point," from supermodel to supermogul.
the impressive tyra banks. she's going to join us live this morning. she's telling young women how they can be flawsome. which is awesome with flaws. also, say it ain't so. it's a war on cheetos. one of my favorite foods. why a teacher wants to ban the flaming hot flavor from school. actually a little bit of a problem. it's our get real this morning. "starting point" team headed in to tackle that and much more. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember. with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on gas! no hoops to jump through. i earn more cash back on the things i buy most. [ woman in pet store ] it's as easy as... [ all ] one! -two. -[ all ] three! [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
point" everyone. a quick look at some top stories. hurricane paul has weakened to a category 2 storm. winds around 110 miles per hour. it's expected to make landfall along mexico's baja peninsula. and hurricane rafael, a category 1 storm is creeping towards bermuda but expected to narrowly miss that island. medical marijuana advocates will try in federal appeals court to change the classification of pot as a dangerous drug. a california based patient advocacy group is trying to get the dea to move it out of the same group as heroin, lsd and pcpp and ricky gervais may be a tough act to follow. hots off to the hollywood foreign press association for choosing tina fay and amy poehler to co-host the golden globes. they both have their own successful tv shows. this will be the first time they hosted an awards show. ricky gervais the last two years was the host of the golden globes. it's the award show where they
can drink. >> much better awards show, right? >> exactly. >> our team this morning joining us on "starting point." republican congressman jason chaffetz from utah is with us. ron brownstein back with us. the editorial director at national january. richard socarides for newyorker.com. john berman sticking around with us. our get real this morning. parent teacher students at lyndon b johnson middle school in new mexico fired up over the flaming hot cheetos. the health teacher at the school sent a letter home to parents calling on a ban of that snack. she says flaming hot cheetos are a health hazard. they offer poor nutritional value. that is true. and the janitors are annoyed because they have to clean the messy red dust off the walls and every place else. one bag of cheetos contains 44 grams of fat, and 700 calories. i think that's with four servings. but of course i scarf the whole bag. exceeds the calorie minimums,
blah, blah, blah. they've already been banned near chicago. they used to sell 150,000 bags a year now. now they're only selling baked cheetos. >> they sound delicious. >> they are delicious. i've had them. >> we should have had -- we should have had some cheetos -- >> no, because they're so bad for you i would not. >> you know, we are looking at one in three kids are now obese. you know, banning things is tough, as bloomberg with the big sodas. but you don't really have to make it easier for people to do the wrong thing. it's interesting, you read stories and there's some protests going on in high schools because we're implementing tougher, more nutritional rules on school lunches. but by and large -- >> but there's an argument that says parents should be responsible, and they should not -- are you with the nanny state on this? >> cheetos is the largest issue? >> why just the flaming hot cheetos? >> because -- well i think apparently they have more of that red powder than just regular old cheetos. but they're extra good. i mean -- >> i have fingerprints all over
my walls with two 5-year-old kids. >> kids can lick their fingers. >> i think cleaning up after school is kind of the way it goes, right? >> right. >> but i do think the nutrition thing, i tell you, we got rid of all junk food in our house. i don't let anybody -- >> schools don't need to make it easier. >> i will say baked cheetos are really almost just as good as the regular cheetos. >> see, a solution. >> everyone can be happy. >> still ahead this morning on "starting point," a live look at tonight's debate hall at hofstra university in strong island, new york. it happens to be in the district of our next guest. we're going to talk about the rematch with democratic congressman steve israel coming up next. and move over obama girls. new viral declaration of love, this time it's for the vice presidential candidate paul ryan. olivia newton-john there. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic.
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look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. i like how we transition into the different music. debate night is much more serious than "starting point." welcome back, everybody, you're watching "starting point." we're talking about debate night for hofstra university. mitt romney, president obama will face off for the second of three debates. just under 14 hours to go. stakes couldn't be any higher. new cnn poll of polls shows mitt romney leading president obama by one point, 48% to 47%. just one month ago, you'll remember, it was the president
who was leading. congressman steve israel is a democrat from new york. the debate tonight is in his district. it's nice to see you. because i am from long island, and that's where the debate is being held. nice to see you, sir. thanks for being with us. we know for sure -- >> great to be with you. >> libya is going to be a topic tonight i'm absolutely certain. here is what secretary clinton told elise labott about libya. listen. >> i took responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department. 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. the president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. they're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs, and make a considered decision. >> so, she's saying ultimately the responsibility rests with me. but none of that really confronts all these kerfuffle around this videotape and claiming that there was a --
there was a -- a argument, a protest over this movie that we now know did not exist. and we know on september 16th, susan rice on "meet the press" said initially our assessment et cetera et cetera was prompted, of course, by the video. september 18th it was jay carney who said our belief based on the information we have is was video that caused unrest in cairo, precipitated some of the unrest in benghazi. so they're talking about video. they're wrong. they're, they're, they're ultimately wrong. secretary clinton, is she ultimately responsible for that? >> look, there's got to be accountability. and there's got to be transparency. and secretary of state clinton said that she is ultimately responsible. but, soledad, at the end of the day, national security and foreign policy is about who is keeping us safe. this debate tonight is about 30 or 40 miles away from ground zero. long islanders understood what happened on 9/11. and this was the president who
made the tough decisions to eliminate osama bin laden. this was the president who got us out of iraq, who was winding down the war in afghanistan and letting afghanistan forces, avd's army and police take over a war that we have been fighting for over ten years. so on the fundamental national security and foreign policy questions facing our country, this is a president who has done an extraordinarily good job keeping us safe, putting additional forces in afghanistan when they were needed, taking them out and killing osama bin laden and more al qaeda and taliban terrorists than george bush did in his eight years. >> but isn't a fundamental foreign policy question one that mayor giuliani posed to us yesterday. where he said it's a cover-up, and isn't a fundamental foreign policy question is, is it a cover-up or is it incompetence that it took so long to figure out, we're still a month out and haven't sort of just getting the basic fats of what happened. >> i think it's fair to say that you have certain information on tuesday.
you have more information on wednesday. more information on thursday. by the way, with all due respect to mayor giuliani, when he makes accusations about this administration and a cover-up for not keeping the benghazi facility safe. i would never say this but some could suggest that when he was the mayor of new york, why wasn't he better prepared to deal with 9/11? it's just ludicrous. it's ludicrous. you have certain information. you do the best you can with that information. but again, on the ultimate question that the american people think about, which is, is al qaeda stronger or weaker, is osama bin laden dead or alive, is the war in iraq continuing to be waged or is it over, are our troops coming home to long island from afghanistan, or will they be there for another ten years fighting another country's battles, on those questions this president has performed. >> i like the way you said i would never say and then quoted people who you think might say that. you have -- >> i want to ask congressman ron brownstein from the national journal. there are many blank spots from that first debate but maybe the big one was president obama not
telling us very much about what he would do in a second term. you're trying to elect a democratic congress. if the voters do give you the majority in the house and the president is re-elected, what can they expect, if anything, from democrats to try to get the economy recovering faster than it has over the last few years? >> well, ron, it's so appropriate that this debate is held on long island, or as we say long island, because it is the home to the middle class voter. the home to the swing voter. the home to the defiantly independent voter. and tonight is very important. the seminal question is what do you do to rebuild a middle class that has as vice president biden said in his debate has been knocked back on its heels by republican policies that put us in this position? i think it's important for the president to remind voters that he and democrats in congress want to quit giving tax breaks to big corporations to ship jobs overseas and start providing bigger tax incentives for small businesses to open up on the
turnpike near hofstra university or main streets near huntington. he has to remind the american people that he thinks we should give the middle class more help to send a kid to college. mitt romney thinks that we have to give millionaires more help and big oil companies more help. and the president has to remind the american people that we believe that if you're 25 or 35 paying into medicare, or 55 or 65, it should not be turned into a voucher. mitt romney and the republicans believe it should. so those are three critically important middle-class principles that the president has to enunciate tonight, and in that debate, mitt romney is on defense trying to explain to the american people why his policies, which we tried and failed the middle class, will succeed for them again, and the president is on offense. and his relentless advocacy for the middle class. >> it will be interesting to hear how it actually goes when this debate takes place tonight. congressman steve israel from long island. nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us. >> thanks. >> at the top of the hour we're going to get reaction from republican congressman peter king. also of new york.
and of course you can watch the debate complete coverage analysis tonight on cnn, starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. i'll be joining out there on long island for the pregame, john berman fact checking candidates' claims as per usual. that's tonight. and on cnn.com. john's got a look at the rest of the day's stories as well. >> thanks, soledad. the new york police department investigating a possible case of police brutality. the incident was caught by surveillance video and before we show it we're showing it already. we want to warn you this can be tough to watch. police say two officers, one male, one female, responded to a dispute at a community center last week. they attempted to arrest a man, then you see on the video the male officer appears to strike him more than a dozen times. the police department is now investigating. the body of missing university of florida student christian aguilar has been found. gainesville police said they used dental records to identify human remains discovered last week by hunters. the 18-year-olding alar vanished september 20th. a friend and former classmate
pedro bravo has been charged with his murder. aguilar's father says the teens, they were fighting over a girl. federal health officials now say at least two other drugs may be linked to the growing outbreak of meningitis and those drugs are made by the same massachusetts company that produced the contaminated pain steroid that's already been linked to the spread of the disease. at least 214 cases of fungal meningitis have now been reported in 15 states, 15 people have died. a new warning for people who binge drink. research on lab rats shows that intermittent binge drinking can damage brain cells in a short period of time and impair one's ability to control how much alcohol they drink. researchers found that the more the test rats binged, the more alcohol they consumed. the scientists hope this research can lead to greater understanding about addiction. the study is reported by the national academy of sciences. hats off to those rats. get your leg warmers out for paul ryan. ♪ let's get fiscal fiscal i want to get fiscal ♪
♪ save social security time to make obama walk no more walk ♪ ♪ time to make obama walk >> mitt romney. showing her support of paul ryan by taking it old school with let's get fiscal. a parody of the '80s hit let's get physical. brings back memories of 2008 and obama girl. ♪ you're so fine 'cause i got a crush on obama ♪ >> that of course was amber lee, obama girl. this is a very good morning here on "starting point." >> oh, my god, this is like -- >> moving on. how about that. >> ahead on "starting point" this morning. she's taking responsibility. we'll tell you why secretary of state hillary clinton says the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi is on her, not the president. she wants you to love your flaws. yes, tyra i love my flaws. she's here to explain the
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to a currency market for everyone. the potential of fxcm unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. secretary of state hillary clinton is not pointing a finger at president obama because the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi last month, she says, was her responsibility. in an interview with cnn's elise labott, secretary clinton insisted that she's in charge of security at all foreign outposts and that the death of ambassador chris stevens and three other americans should not divide the nation. let's get right to our foreign affairs reporter elise labott. she's in lima, peru, today. elise, good morning. how much of a bombshell is this, what secretary clinton has now said, the buck stops with me in a nutshell? >> well, soledad, i think what she's trying to do are a couple of things. i think she's trying to end the
political firestorm. i mean, you heard from chris stevens' dad just a few weeks ago -- days ago that ambassador, saying listen his death is being politicized. and you heard, you know, vice president biden kind of distancing himself from the state department, saying we didn't know about those requests for extra security. take a listen to what secretary clinton said when i asked her whether the white house, whether the administration, is throwing her state department under the bus. >> i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department. 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. the president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. they're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs, and make a considered decision. >> and soledad, in addition, kind of taking some heat off the white house, i think she also
tries to refocus people to say, listen, let's stop this political gotcha. let's stop the bickering and the blame game and remember that four americans, four brave diplomats, died and what we really need to do is make sure that this doesn't happen again. make sure those embassies and consulates, make sure they get adequate security that they need. soledad. >> i'm going to guess that on the eve of a debate those claims to say, let's end it, are going to fall on deaf ears. elise labott in lima, peru, today. thank you. still ahead this morning -- you know what, let me get to this response. kelly ayotte and lindsey graham and john mccain, senators, all of them said this. if the president was truly not aware of this rising threat level in benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team. the security of americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the commander in chief. the buck stops there. meantime, a public memorial service will be held later today for the late ambassador chris stevens.
it's going to take place in san francisco city hall. 4:15 p.m. local time this afternoon. still ahead this morning on "starting point," she's a supermodel. but says she knows exactly what it's like to have flaws. tyra banks is going to join us to talk about how she's trying to show young women it's going to be flawsome. back in just a moment. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
welcome back, everybody. from super model to super mogul, tyra bampgs was one of the first after r african-american models to be on the cover of "sports illustrated" and top runway shows like victoria secret. she went on to crow ate and produce the hugely successful "america's top model." >> whenever someone tells me you look so much better in person,s they an insult. you want to look better in your pictures. >> i get that all the time. >> right? >> i'm a model. i should look better in my pictures. >> so that's a compliment. >> the tzone foundation to empower young women and teach
them career developing tools. it gets a permanent new home with a newly constructed girls' club. with a flawsome ball, which will happen thursday night. >> yes. >> such a great word. this is kind of the message to young women. >> yes. >> what is flawsome? >> you, plus your flaws plus awesome equals flawsome. whether it's on "america's top model" or girls i'm mentoring just in life that perfect is boring and human is beautiful. i look for things that are interesting and different on a woman's face. >> how do they bloev that from you? >> because i got a big forehead. i've got a huge forehead. it's like -- >> you're right. it's terrible. >> it's under there. you guys see it. >> you look fantastic, though. you are so beautiful. you are more beautiful in person than you are even -- >> thank you for insulting me right now. that's an insult. did you not watch the video? >> girls looking at a super model really understand the
message? you look like perfection personafied. is it hard to send a message to a young girl that's 12 or 13 that they can somehow turn into you eventually? >> i don't think so. i actually start ed "america's top model" because i wanted to emphasize flawsomeness, talk about a girl covered in freckles from head to toe that doesn't feel attractive. i wanted to talk and have girls on the show with with big, red, frizzy hair and they're like, oh, this is bad and we're like, oh, no, we're not straightening that. and alabaster skin, i choose 70% of my girls that i call debatable beauty. >> is this just for girls or can boys be flawsome, too? >> what are you insecure about? >> i'm saying in theory. >> i tend to focus on girls. >> you have a lovely -- what i call a five head, big forehead.
it's not a forehead it's a five head. >> you have one, too. let's see. >> he's so fine, i don't know. >> tlches a great article in "the new york times," magazine a while back. talked about sort of the future for your life post modeling. you said it won't always be my face, she said, as he finished up her soap. i know nothing lives forever . d i'll still be producing and still be at the helm. describe life as you move forward as a business woman. >> it's interesting. i do a lot more of this behind the scenes, at a board room, at a table, leading me team, creating new projects, new businesses, finished harvard business skol program to expand my business behind the scenes and to create like industries and things that have a long life, that i don't have to, what i call, tap dance. so, you know, that's very
important to me and the public only sees a little bit. i like being off camera because i had to wake up at 4:30 this morning and put this toing thing together. >> tell me, sister. >> you know how it is, right? >> the most beautiful thing about you is your energy and your enthusiasm. >> thank you! >> it's just your whole aura. >> and you're an inspiration to young women. and i'm going to be at the flawsome ball. >> yes and we're auctioning off a day with soledad o'brien at cnn and you can be an anchor in training. >> or do the show. >> do shoet so sthee can stay in bed. >> auction off the congressman's job for a day. >> but no voting. >> so they can be with you all day. >> fantastic. i love that. maybe i'll bid on it. tyra, always great to have you with us. you are really a true inspiration to young women. we've got to take a short break. still ahead this morning, 13 hours and counting -- i can't
believe we're doing a countdown for the debate but president obama, mitt romney ready for their rematch. we'll preview tonight's high stakes debate when both will join us next hour. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes!
could've had a v8. anncr: every president inherits few have faced so many. four years later... our enemies have been brought to justice. our heroes are coming home. assembly lines are humming again. there are still challenges to meet. children to educate. a middle class to rebuild. but the last thing we should do is turn back now. president obama: i'm barack obama and... i approve this message. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people
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and a top speed of 53 miles per hour. it's a whole new species of gator. see just how much the gator has evolved at johndeere.com/gator. obama/romney, round two. we're hours away from the second presidential debate. can the president redeem himself or will mitt romney once again dominate? we'll hear from peter king and jen psaki from the obama campaign. secretary clinton saying don't point the finger to anyone at for the consulate attack except herself. >> i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department, 60,000 plus people all over the world.
>> we'll talk about that. also his debut album sold nearly 6 million copies, his third album. his new one comes out today. drops today. pop start mika will join us live. "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. our team this morning, richard socaretes at the far end. i like to have him near me. >> i'm in the will cain seat. >> you are. >> and ron brownstein is with us, editorial director of national journal, republican congressman jason chaffetz from utah is joining us. all guys today. yesterday, the other day, we had all women. >> it was like we were on "the view." >> you were being overwhelmed practically. i'll take that compliment. moving ahead, our "starting point" this morning, round two of the presidential debate.
in just about 13 hours, president obama and mitt romney will square off in the second of three presidential debates, the chance for mitt romney to solidify and it will take place on hofstra university. group of undecided voters will be asking the questions. dan lothian is already there for us at hofstra university. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. i think it's safe to say we'll see a much different president this second time out than we saw in the first debate. his top campaign advisers saying that the president will be much more energetic, that he will be aggressive, that he will challenge mitt romney when he lays out his plan. he spent the last three days in virginia, williamsburg, virginia, prepping for this debate, the same team, basic team that he had, going into the first dough bait. we saw the president walking about with his chief of staff, jack lew. also ben rhodes has been added to the mix, one of the president's advisers on foreign
policy and foreign affairs. as for mitt romney, he, over the past weekend, was in the boston area. we saw him go out to church but also at a nearby hotel, he was prepping for this debate. his advisers saying that the president might be changing his style and his tactic, but he can't change his record. now for the debate itself, governor mitt romney will be taking the first question. that was decided by a coin toss. and then in the audience, about 80 undecided voters from that group, they'll get a chance to ask questions of both of the candidates. the challenge for the candidates is that you have real voters there that they'll be facing off with. and so they have to make a personal connection while trying to score points, soledad. >> dan, thank you very much. libya will likely play a big role in tonight's debate, plenty of accusations about who dropped the ball and exactly when. now secretary clinton is saying
she accepts the blame. listen. >> i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state department, 60,000 plus people all over the world, 275 posts. the president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. >> let's bring in congressman peter king, chairman of the homeland committee. what do you think, is there some kind of cover up? >> i give secretary clinton credit for taking some responsibility. i wish joe biden and president obama would also take responsibility. i think the administration has a lot to explain from the day this story broke, back september 11th, september 12th, they told misleading stories, confusing stories, contradictry stories. almost every word they've said
has been disproven. the underlying foreign polish here is the president has been claiming somehow al qaeda has been decimated. the fact is that this attack showed that al qaeda and its affiliates and offshoots are still a powerful force against the united states and, in some ways, even more dangerous than september 11th. >> a lot has been made of what susan wright said on "meet the press". our current assessment of what happened in benghazi was initially a spontaneous reaction to what had transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat demonstration against the facilities in cairo, prompted, of course, by the video. technically, she's saying the video caused what happened in cairo, but sort of linking it to what happened in benghazi. now she says this. in my september 16th sunday show appearances i was asked to provide the administration's latest understanding of what had an happened in benghazi. i relied solely and squarely on the information the intelligence community provided to me and
other senior u.s. officials, including through the daily intelligence briefings that present the latest reporting and analysis to policy makers and she basically says this represents the best current assessment when she went on television. she's saying it's not a cover up, that there were mistakes because the intelligence was flawed. >> i don't accept that. ambassador rice reports to the state department. did she take the time to talk to people in the consulate that night who said there was no demonstration? did she take the time to check out all the traffic within the state department from the consulate back to wz? did she even check out the fact that there had been so many terrorist threats from that area, such powerful forces in that region? if she had sais said we don't have all the information yet. there's no precise intelligence but we also know there's a lot of terrorist activity in that region, that would be fine. she didn't mention terrorism. she left out al qaeda all
together and wanted to give the impression this was a spontaneous result of the video that was shown. that was misled leading and she should have known better. as the ambassador of the u.n., she should have been prepared than to give just more of a recr -- than a recap of -- >> the president said this, no act of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation. he mentioned terror the first day after. it's not this is a terror attack. but he absolutely is talking about terror. >> he barely mentioned it once. for the next week, the administrati administration's line was this with his not a terror attack, had nothing to do with u.s. policy. it was not a terrorist attack. that was the theme and narrative that they wanted to put out there. and it was wrong. why were they doing it? i think it's because it undercut the president's campaign promise or claim that al qaeda had been
decimated. and whether they provided enough security to that consulate. i don't really blame them for not having enough security. it's a mistake or judgment call that was wrong. what makes it worse is the day after they should have said it looks as if there was not enough security. we're going to review all of our security at consulates across the world. they ignored al qaeda all together and tried to blame it all on this ridiculous video. >> you're not saying a cover up then? what mr. giuliani said yesterday was a cover up, which seems to imply some kind of criminal activity. your saying it is a big, complete screw up. i know you wanted to jump in. >> let me just -- no, i am saying -- we can define cover up however you want. the administration has not told the truth and have spread a false narrative. are you talking about a criminal cover up? no. they were concealing or holding back facts that undercut their position. they did not tell the truth to the american people. >> ron brownstein national
journal. i want to go back to your first answer. you were saying with osama bin laden dead and all of the drone attacks on al qaeda leadership, you believe that al qaeda today may be a greater threat or a stronger force than they were before september 11th? can you clarify that, why you feel that way? >> certainly. in fact, that is the consensus of most intelligence experts. because of the fact that al qaeda -- about four or five years ago, al qaeda began to momo morph. al shabab and also including people here in the united states. they are now more under the radar screen, more spread out and harder to define. it was great killing bin laden. i give president obama credit for that. al qaeda shifted from a centralized boss to being diversified, which is harder to
track down. they are under the radar screen in many cases. >> they are a greater threat now than they were when president obama took office? >> they are a greater threat than they were on september 11th because of the fact that they are much more spread out, the fact that there is active recru recruiting going on to people under the radar screen. you talk to intelligence experts, most will agree with that. on september 11th, immediate years afterwards, we knew who had they were. we had a general idea how to get them and were getting them one by one. and the culmination, president obama got bin laden in may 2011, whatever the year was. 2011. the fact is that now it has spread out to many different groups and that is why it's considered by most intelligence experts to be more dangerous now than it was then. and that is the story the president is not telling. >> thank you for your time this morning. we appreciate it. >> soledad, thank you. >> you bet. still ahead we'll get reaction from jen psaki with the
obama campaign. you can watch cnn's complete coverage and analysis of toni t tonight's debate at 7:00 pm eastern. i'll be on the floor predebate. candy crowley will be moderating, cnn's own. john berman will be manning the fact checking office. >> shouldn't they be ushering you off before they start -- >> pushing us physically off the floor. he yes, i would guess that. also, take a look at americans already voting. that would be -- take a look. michelle obama. roll the videotape. imagine if you will michelle obama, voting. yeah, there she is. she voted by absentee ballot yesterday, posted a message on her campaign twitter account saying i couldn't wait for election day. president obama will do the same thing, voting later this month in chicago. other stories making news. john berman has that for us. good morning. >> goop good morning, soledad. security over malala yousafzai. they think there's a chance of a decent recovery from malala.
she is in a chemically induced coma. the taliban shot her in the head. interior minister offered a $1 million bounty on the taliban spokesman who took credit for the attack. birmingham police say some well wishers were questioned overnight not arrested as they first reported. funeral of arlen specter, begins at noon. vice president joe biden will be in attendance. he was 82. asking the court to throw out a lawsuit by house republicans over operation fast and furious. house oversight and government reform committee wants the justice department to release internal records about the botch ed gun program. justice officials argue that the constitution does not permit the courts to resolve this type of political dispute. monday night football led by
pitten manning, the denver broncos completed one of the biggest comebacks ever in the nfl, erasing a 24-0 half time lead to beat the chrgeers on monday night football. the team is now tied for first. i think that answers questions about whether peyton manning still has game. he does. and nlcs, giants evened it up at one game a piece. and yankees are down 2- 0. they will face justin verlander. >> my sons are so upset. come on, yankees. >> unlike most of america. >> i do not care about most of the america when it comes to the yankees. >> $200 million payroll.
>> blah, blah, blah. it's about the love of the game. >> they're 8 years old. >> i love you, ron brownstein. >> don't help him out. his little red sox. are they in it at all? no, no, no. >> steroid testing best thing ever to crow ate parody in baseball. people in their 30s -- >> throwing things out as i go to commercial break. >> that's right. >> throwing out steroid use. >> you can't respond. >> that's correct. ahead on "starting point" you're look i looking at live pictures of hofstra university where the president yl candidates will try to convince voters in swing states tonight to cast ballots in their favor. we'll take a look at some of those voters whose decisions could make or break the election. growing controversy over those comments from a gop senate hopeful's son. >> we have the opportunity to send president obama to chicago, or kenya. >> i'll tell you what he's saying now. you.
this just in. ceo of citigroup has stepped down. michael corbat is his replacement. we're right in the middle of earnings season for all of these banks. citigroup did better than wall street expected. >> so why? >> i don't know. pandit took over right in the height of the financial crisis in 2007, you'll recall. the company was ail iing. a lot of concerns about what the bank was doing back then and how it would survive the financial crisis. he took over. now he is stepping down. when i get more details i'll let you know for sure.
and i'll be watching the stock this morning. >> is this typical to have a release come out with no details? could it be i'm ready to go do new things? >> there has been a lot of criticism from washington, shareholders, and public interest groups about the major banks for five or six years now. you've got the mortgage crisis, concerns about banks being the big recipients of beneficiaries of large investments to keep the economy going but not necessarily passing that on to -- >> big salaries. >> exactly. i don't know why he stepped down. i just know that he will be out as the ceo of citi. >> one of the major, major players in small business 2007. >> major. you look at all the post mo trchlt ems of those big scary meetings in the financials crisis, he was there, one of the people sitting down with henry paulson, tim giethner and the like and two administrations, quite frankly, trying to figure out how to keep the system solvent. >> he has led the bank into some
period of stability, right? >> it has been rough for these banks. >> they would say it was a period of stability. >> citi, many, many analysts have said citi is a very weakened bank -- we went through 20 years of the banks getting bigger, bigger and bigger, right? now they're saying, wait. they're too big to fail. we're really reexamining how these banks function and there will be new leadership going forward, at least at citi. >> let us know as soon as you know. >> i will. >> what is afoot. >> i will. >> appreciate it. >> round two of the obama/romney debates. probably no better place to go than stark county, ohio, one of the most competitive swing counties in a state that row liab -- reliably picks president iial candidates. miguel almaguer is there live. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. as ohio goes so goes the
presidency. only twice since 1896 has ohio not selected the presidential winners. we've come here to lovely autumnal stark county. this is stark county, ohio, a front line in this battleground state. it's so closely tracked state in national voting patterns, this place puts the bell in bellwether. like most people here, he takes politics pretty seriously. may i ask you who you're voting for? >> yes. >> reporter: who are you voting for? >> i won't tell you. >> reporter: sick of political gridlock. he says the country's problems so serious, it makes voting more important and tougher than ever. >> a lot of people are hurting big. a lot of people need relief. i'm not too sure the election is going to give it, no matter who gets elected. that's the problem. >> reporter: stark county has seen the worst of the recession
and the best of the recovery. unemployment shot up to 13% at the height of the great recession. it's now plummeted to less than 7%. vaughn, like stark county in ohio, has survived by changing. turning over the business to his kids and son-in-law. made some changes to the old family farm. boy, did he ever. a fourth of the family's income now comes a few weeks in the fall when the farm, now a marketed winery, is transformed into a country fun fair. >> you have to be diversified enough to weather the storm but you can't dilute yourself so much that you're not effective. >> reporter: making ohio ohio. >> ohio is number one at practically nothing but exceedingly above average at many, many things. >> reporter: how quickly can one shred a car? >> about 30 seconds. >> reporter: in the recycling business for 100 years, a sta -
state-of-the-art scrap yard. the boss here, life long democrat, voted obama in 2008. he says this year is a tougher choice. >> this year i am truly an independent voter. and looking at the first debate and very keen on looking at the next two debates. >> reporter: a year ago, his yard could barely keep up with demand. two months ago he saw orders plummet. >> is it a matter of hearing what they want to do or how they're going to accomplish it? >> i would say both in that question but more importantly how are they going to accomplish it with a $16 trillion deficit. >> reporter: it is a real race here in ohio. before that first debate, cnn poll of polls showing president obama with a seven to ten-point lead here that has been cut now since that first debate to a three-point edge. soledad? >> miguel marquez watching that for us. thank you. appreciate it. we are a couple of -- not a couple. a lot of hours away from round
two of the obama/romney debate. miguel is going to continue his trip around the country. really look iing at some of the important, critical counties where they're analyzing those voters who could truly make the decision in this election. >> all the swing states in the country, the state of them that's had the fastest job growth in the past year, ohio. and, you know, when the obama people -- >> republican governor there. >> that is the last line of defense for obama in a much darker kind of outlock over the last couple of weeks. that ohio -- he still has a lead there. and that is really the last -- as long as -- but it's tightening. as long as he's ahead there, very hard to see romney getting -- >> need ohio to win. >> republicans almost certainly need ohio to win. almost certainly. >> ohio is the new florida. >> ohio is the old ohio. >> ohio is the -- black and the new brown. always trying to get a plug in for his state, that congressman
chaffetz. woel talk to a young man whose first album sold more than 5 million copies and he hasn't slowed down since. pop star mika, how music got him through his worst moments of his life and the rationale and thinking behind his new album. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've been years in the making.
over the helm at citigroup. that someone else is michael cor corbat. stock futures are up. it's been a really tough ride for these big mega banks since the heat of the financial crisis. vikram pandit took over. reporting earnings this woek and stock futures overall up so far this morning. we'll continue to watch. >> i'm curious to know what's behind this. >> officially telling the world that it's time for new leadership, time for -- >> which is kind of a standard -- >> yeah. >> you think of that ride at citi the past few years, we went through a period where banks were getting bigger and bigger and more powerful and impenetrable in the american economy and vikram pandit came in in 2007 just at the time that
the crisis hit. still ahead on "starting point" strong island showdown tonight. is the president ready after his much less than impressive debate performance last time around? we will be talking with his traveling campaign secretary jen psaki, up next. pizza hut offered a pretty big reward to anyone who asks the candidates what their favorite pizza topping is, all-important election question. if they do that during tonight's debate they'll get aa big reward. now they're rethinking that stunt. we'll tell you what's happening there. yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one.
and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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together for your future. why they're always there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people there for you, night and day. ally bank. your money needs an ally. welcome back, everybody. tonight, the presidential capped dates face off again. it's the second of three debates in just under 13 hours, the stakes couldn't be any higher for mitt romney and also president obama. new cnn poll of polls shows mitt romney leading obama by one point, 48% to 47%. if you remember just a month ago
it was the president who was leading. jen psaki is the obama campaign's traveling secretary. why am i struggling with that introtoday? thank you for being here. >> thank you. glad to be here. >> appreciate it. going back and forth on twitter. some are telling me in a up to hall format people aren't going to ask about libya. what do you think? >> the only people who know the answer to that question are audience members who will be asking the questions and perhaps the host, candy crowley. we'll see. i think the president expects a range of questions from everything from the economy to health care, to foreign policy and he certainly is happy to speak about any of those topics. >> we've been running this clip of hillary clinton, the secretary of state, taking the blame. she says i take responsibility. i'm in charge of the state departme
department, 60,000 plus people over the world,et, et cetera. how does that affect the campaign? >> well, secretary clinton, there's no one who cares more and is more focused on getting to the bottom of what happened in libya than secretary clinton and then president obama. they both have been working very hard on that every single day. they're participating -- the administration is participating, cooperating and several investigations, one with congress, one by the fbi. and they would love to find more information as soon as more information becomes available they'll provide that to the american people. she often does a round of interviews, she is on a foreign trip and was speaking to her own responsibilities as secretary of state and says the request came to them and they declined the request and that's exactly what the vice president said last week. >> so, jen, how is the president feeling today? some of us who are big supports of his were a little worried after the last time, that maybe he hadn't gotten enough rest or perhaps he was distracted. how he is feeling today?
>> well, to soothe any of your stress, you know, he has watched the last debate and, you know, he is his own harshest critic. he is coming into this debate energized. people with expect to see a passi passionate president obama delivering the case for why he has a better plan for the middle class. ultimately this is about who is going to be better for the american people for the next four years. so who has a better education plan, who has a better plan for tax cuts, health care. he is not going to hide from his positions unlike his opponent. stay tuned for this evening. >> this is jason chaffetz. i would take issue just with your last part there, that hiding from positions. >> i'm not surprised you would take issue. >> yeah. i mean, the vision for america, i think, mitt romney has laid out. also talking about what's happened the last four years. you can't ignore that we are in
a stagnant economy and that under president obama the economy has failed. >> well, look, with all due respect what i'm referring to specifically is mitt romney and paul ryan's recent denial, as if they forgot their own plans, that they have a $5 trillion tax cut plan. >> they do not have -- >> to help millionaires and billionaires. >> no, no, no, no. >> last debate romney said his plan would cover pre-existing conditions. so we know they're not comfortable with their plans. i understand why. i'm not comfortable with their plans either. we're happy to keep pointing out what's true and what's not. >> can i ask you about the other side of the equation there? two prominent pollsters yesterday both released memos based on focus groups after the first debate saying that voter ds not see any energy, passion or urgency from the president about what he would accomplish in the second term. >> they need a focus group for that? >> really, really. >> it was pretty evident. >> give us the list. give us the list.
what, in fact, if voters give him four more years, what is at the top of his list for what had he wants to give them? >> well, first, he would continue to help the economy recover. as you know, we've had 31 straight months of private sector job growth. >> what will he do to have it recover faster than it has? that's the question people are asking. >> no, it's a great question. it's a great question. he has laid out a lot of specific proposals, the american jobs act. he wants to do more to help small businesses, do more to hire construction workers, many of the people who continue to be out of work. he thinks investing in education and helping teachers make sure they have jobs, that's a key part of his plan. you know, we haven't seen a lot on the other side but i hope the president has an opportunity tonight to continue to talk about his plans. he's happy to do that. >> why didn't he mention the american jobs act either at the first debate or first convention speech if it's still at the top of his to do list? >> he laid out in his convention speech and mentioned a lot of
the specifics about -- he may not have said the specific phrase american jobs act but every single day he's out on the trail he's talking about how we need to do more for small business, to help make sure teachers have jobs, how we need to do more to help entrepreneurs and small businesses. so he talks about it every single day. and i expect he'll talk about it this evening. >> jen psaki, joining us with the obama campaign. it's funny she talked about how -- >> great to be here. >> thanks. appreciate that. >> being his biggest critic. if you read any andrew sullivan, it's like, no, andrew sullivan -- >> two senators talking in the 1930s, franklin roosevelt is his own worst enemy and the other says not as long as i'm aalive. the same would apply here with president obama. >> tonight, candy crowley from cnn, of course, will be moderating the presidential town hall debate from long island new
york. >> i went to had hofstra university. >> see? >> i've seen long island. >> you've been to the hamptons. >> congressman have you been to the island? >> i read about it. and the congressman has read about long island. grammy nominated singer pop star mika will join us, talk about his new album and what went into the making of it. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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welcome back to "starting point," everyone. an apology to president obama from the son of candidate tommy thompson. his son was speaking but backfire backfired after it went viral. >> we have the opportunity to send president obama back to chicago, or kenya. >> like we said, tommy thompson then apologized for that comment. in attendance, chairman agreed it was out of line. hold the pepperoni. pizza hut now rethinking it's preside presidential debate stunt. the chain offered a pie a week for 30 years or a check for 15 grand to anyone in the audience tonight who asked president obama or mitt romney what their favorite pizza topping is during this live debate. now with the controlled environment of these things, it wasn't likely to happen anyway,
but many critics appropriately said it was in bad taste and a waste of time. pizza hut is now moving the contest online and will choose a winner at random. >> and other inappropriate comment that is have been made. >> talk about a half-baked idea. >> cheesy idea. >> you're being awfully is saucy this morning. >> and we move on. >> crusty over here. >> yes, i am. >> where does this come from? >> make it stop. >> that was the ring shot right there. >> make it stop, please. i'm begging. when paul headings was 17 years old, he dreamed of being a baseball player. losing his eyesight changed his life forever. he set his sights on a new dream and has fulfilled it. dr. san swra gupta has his story. it's today's human factor. ♪ >> as a drum major for the university of missouri's famed ltz marching band, paul headings
is living his dream. it's a new dream. because his original dream of playing professional baseball was disappearing. >> september 7th, 2007. >> the 17-year-old woke up and his world was changing. >> everything was just a little blurry. didn't seem like anything with his wrong. >> but something was terribly wrong. his retinas had detached and started to tear apart in both eyes. >> i didn't know how my life would change, what i would be able to do, what i wouldn't be able to do. i could potentially go completely blind. this has happened to my mom, my grandma, a couple uncles. even my little sister is having similar issues. >> they didn't lose much vision. paul, on the other hand, is now legally blind. >> my left eye has blind spots. my peripheral vision is great. and that's why i'm so high functioning. the right eye is just kind of there. >> he says family, friends and music saved his life. >> here we go. b flat. >> i just, you know, strapped up my boots and went to work.
>> made the line first playing cymbals and after an extensive interview process clenched the coveted drum major spot. most in the band didn't even know he was legally blind, suffering three detachments and cataracts in both eyes. headings hopes his time on the ladder will change the perception of visually impaired people. >> i want to be able to say when i leave here that i did something special and that i didn't let this hold me back. >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. he sold millions of albums worldwide, not slowing down any time soon. pop star mika joins us to talk about his new album and also how music has helped him get through some of the worst moments of his life. coming up in a moment.
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point." mika shot to stardom with his first album grace kelly. earned him a grammy nomination, his third album is now out today, already dropped. got great reviews called "origin of love" and the single from that is called celebrate. what a pleasure. >> thank you. great being here. >> do you like being a pop superstar? what's the likelihood? i would guess it would be awesome. >> i live in a bit of an odd box. i spend most of my life touring really. i live out of a suitcase. i am like the boy who ran awith way to the circus. the only difference is that my family came with me.
they joined me team. i can sing in like 20,000 people and completely feel comfortable. if i walk into a party, i literally feel like i crumble into the tiniest piece of nothing. i can't walk from one corner to the other. >> how did you get into singing? >> i got kicked out of school. >> ater you were 11, right? >> i was dyslexic and couldn't read or write and was in quite an intolerant french system. my teacher was very intolerant. i just deteriorated. i stopped speaking for a while. i couldn't read or write. and in the end i got kicked out. my mother was like, fine. as long as the authorities don't know, i'm going to keep him at home and teach him. i had this tough russian singing teacher. in 11 months i was at the world opera house singing strauss. then it transitioned, at the college of music training to be a classical barritone. i knew i could never make it as
a classical musician, so secretly i was writing pop music at night, working as a waiter to pay for the demos. >> it's pop but also a lot of other stuff. >> it's got pop, the classical side of things. i'm obsessed with this period of song writing from the '70s. at school even i used to pretend i was one of the writers in the '60s like carole king is next door, and mann. it's this mash up of different genres. i guess it's about joy fundamentally, but it's about this wicked sense of joy. it's like i write it as some sort of tonic or medicine to make myself feel better about life in general. >> and you also are a big advocate for human rights around the world and do things to help people. >> i think it's -- i have gotten to a stage where i'm completely comfortable in my own skin. and -- as far as my sexuality is concerned.
for a long toim i refused to talk about it. then i got to a place where i'm like, you know, i'm happy. and there's absolutely no reason not to talk about. once it's come from a place of positivity and confidence. >> features my secret boyfriend. >> here is your boyfriend. >> her fiance is totally cool about that. my husband also very cool with it. it's all fun. >> thaets all right. it's 2012. >> that's right. tell me about your sister. a lot of that plays a role in this second album. >> i was on the road 4 1/2 years. i stopped and i didn't know how to write again. anyway, life happened and this -- you know, things happen in life, which sort of set off the writing process. she was born disabled, weak on her left side. finally got her own place. on her housewarming night she
had a horrific accident. >> fell out of the window. >> on a three-story building. she got impaled on railings. that's what saved her life. i witnessed it, saw her at 4:00 am and just remember the silence. an accident like that, all you remember is hush. that kind of woke me up. and it kind of de -- it deconstructed my ego in almost every single way. an album like "the origin of love" that is so joyful is actually born out of -- it started out of something that's so tragic and dark. she's doing well now. she spent a year and a half in hospital and now is learning how to walk again. >> thank goodness. what a with wonderful thing to come out of a terrible tragedy. congratulations, getting rave reviews already. it just dropped this morning. >> thanks. >> nice to have you. >> thank you so much. >> appreciate it. you bet. "end point" is coming up next. so... [ gasps ]
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big thank you to congressman jason chaffetz for joining us. he had to run out to another appointment. he is back again tomorrow to talk about what happened tonight at the debate. "end point." do you want to start for me? >> it's just obvious that the stakes tonight couldn't be higher. >> are you nervous? >> i am nervous. i'm a little nervous, yeah. i think this could be the most important moment in the presidential campaign, unless we have already had the most important moment in which case, we're in trouble. >> as john pointed out, we were talking about it during the break. i think we'll look at this first presidential debate as up there with carter/reagan and nixon/kennedy as the single most consequential debate. it changed the narrative. it kept the focus on romney, incredibly, as the incumbent. and now it's